Food and Agriculture Collaboratory for Transforming Supply (FACTS)

Our Mission

Our collaboratory aspires to leverage the synergies from multiple academic disciplines to tackle some of the most pressing food, forestry, and agricultural-based production and distribution challenges to efficiently, reliably, and sustainably deliver safe and affordable end products to the consumers while fostering economic development.

Our Major Goals

  • Develop new academic collaborations across disciplines and universities to address important food, fiber, and forestry supply chain opportunitites.
  • Share the knowledge, skills, and tools needed for local farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders to make informed decisions for their role in the downstream supply chain and enhance their sustainability.  
  • Develop research and Extension efforts that inform the formulation, adoption, and implementation of effective and inclusive public policy.
  • Facilitate new food entrepreneur teaching and outreach efforts.

Our Major Objectives

  • Evaluate alternative supply chain structures that would improve efficiency/resilience/responsiveness.
    • Develop optimization and simulation models of existing and alternative supply chains.
    • Determine sensitivity of vital parameters and inputs to fluctuations and responses within intermodal and intramodal networks. 
    • Research the role of new supply chain technologies and the barriers to their large-scale adoption.
  • Address the potential for decommodization of supply chains (multiple paths for products)
    • Local versus traditional
    • Attribute-specific (organic, sustainable, etc.)
  • Understand the implications for producers and consumers of alternative supply chain structures
    • Fragilities within rural communities 
    • Demography 
    • Tax implications
    • Potential changes in the ability to supply raw products
    • Potential changes in the satisfaction of existing consumer demands 
  • Develop improved solutions for logistics, queuing, and transportation
    • Coordinate with industry to provide precision solutions when applicable
  • Arrange frequently related seminars, workshops, and short-courses to train and develop a highly-skilled rural workforce.
  • Utilize findings to improve the relevance of appropriate resident and non-resident educational curriculum. 
  • Disseminate results to local and regional policy-makers and strategic stakeholders.
  • Conduct economic analyses of policy interventions, including analyses of the distributional effects of public policy.
  • Develop web-based decision tools for businesses to improve competitiveness within supply chain structures. 
  • Develop relational infrastructure between national and regional food logistics.
  • Develop new systems for information transmission and visibility along the supply chain (food safety, sustainability verification, attribute information).